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Interview with halfpint

RRR-CAZ 🇬🇧 asks: Congratulations Halfpint

If you were to have a golden ticket for any sporting event what would you choose to watch ?

halfpint says: Thanks! I don’t generally watch sport that much so this is a tricky one. We were lucky enough to get tickets for the mountain biking at the 2014 commonwealth games which was great. The sport I’m most likely to watch at the moment is climbing. I’m amazed by what they can do. It’s really inspiring. Having spent time at local kids comps I know it’s a great atmosphere and a real community feel. It would be amazing to see the climbing at the Olympics.
geordiegirl asks: Wow congratulations well deserved and I was surprised to learn you’d not been MOTM before.

Thank you for sharing your amazing part of the world on podcasts and the newt thread. If you could organise a fetch weekend of adventure up north north what would you plan?

halfpint says: Thanks GG. Great question. There really are so many options up here. Where I live I’m within striking distance of the Cairngorms, Glen Affric, the West coast. I love the North West Highlands and particularly the coastline. My favourite area is probably Torridon though so I would book out the Torridon YHA. There are so many options from there: kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, road biking, and Munro bagging. Plenty of amazing places to run as well if that’s your thing. I think we could offer something for everyone. Maybe once the huge post lockdown influx is over we can make it happen.
Diogenes asks: Congratulations HP. Geordiegirl’s question is very similar to the one I was going to ask so I’ve had to rack my brains for an alternative. So, what is your favourite non-athletic pastime?

halfpint says: Thanks Dio. This question made me smile because I don’t really think of anything I do as ‘athletic’ - not the way I do it anyway. If I have spare time on my hands then I generally like being out and about doing something active. QP’s answer to this question was ‘watching Taskmaster’ but I don’t think watching telly counts. Reading is probably my favourite non- active meaningful activity. I love getting immersed in a really good, thought provoking novel. I also enjoy reading psychology related books and articles, particularly neuroscience at the moment.
westmoors asks: Congratulations halfpint. If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

halfpint says: Thanks westmoors. Someone I would love to sit down and have a chat with is Sir Harry Burns. He was the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and is a professor of global public health, and has done a huge amount of work around social justice and health inequality. He recognises the importance of early childhood for future health and adult outcomes and had a huge impact on the approach taken within Scotland to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable families. His work informed the Violence Reduction Unit in Scotland which focuses on early intervention to break cycles of violence.

On the other hand, my thinking is very much in line with Harry's and maybe I could learn more from meeting with someone with a totally different viewpoint. Maybe I should sit down with Priti Patel or Tony Martin or maybe even Donald Trump.
LindsD asks: Congratulations! So well-deserved. What made you choose your career path?

halfpint says: Thanks Linds. Good question. When I headed off to Strathclyde Uni at 17 it had been a bit of a 'well I'm going to Uni but what on earth am I going to do?' Psychology looked interesting and the Strathclyde course gave you a chance to do 5 social science subjects in first year. Psychology was still interesting and so I stuck with it. I had decided by 4th year that I wanted to combine my love of working with children with psychology so being an Educational Psychologist made sense. The wheels fell off a bit though and I dropped out half way through that year. For the next few years I did some awful admin jobs, travelled a bit and then had QP. I decided to complete my Psych degree through the OU - which actually took 4 years. I don't actually work directly with kids that often but having an opportunity to make a difference to the experience our children and young people have of education is really rewarding. The work is varied and interesting (and frustrating and exhausting) and for the most part I enjoy what I do.
Pothunter asks: Congratulations! What would you have for your death-row meal? Starter, main course and desert plus something to wash it down.

halfpint says: Thanks. I initially thought 'thank goodness finally an easy question' but even this one is hard. Main course is really easy - roast chicken dinner including oatmeal stuffing, roast potatoes and parsnips, veg and gravy. I bloody love roast chicken dinner. Starter something seafoody - maybe scallops with chorizo. Desert?? I rarely have a desert because I tend to choose a starter and then have no space. I make a great sticky toffee pudding though - not that I expect I'd be making my own death row meal. It would have to be accompanied by some really good ice cream.
MazH asks: Awwww, well done my friend! I have so many unanswered questions, but let's save it for the book deal! - My question to you is, what is it endures for you about Fetch (the website)?

halfpint says: Thanks Maz! The people of course. Fetch has done a great job in creating a space that is friendly and supportive and genuinely feels like a community. Somehow no matter how many site members there are it still has that small community feel. There is a place for everyone, no matter what activities you choose to do and everyone can find their tribe. I am far more comfortable in the fetch forums than I am in the real world.
Stevce asks: Well deserved half pint (I voted for you :-) ), Q, what is the best race you have ever taken part in, and why was it so?

halfpint says: Thanks Stevce. My first response to this was 'I don't do races so I can't really answer this question'. I've not done a race in almost 10 years and didn't ever really do much racing. I have done a handful of local 5k and 10k races and the Inverness Half Marathon (which I hated every minute of). However, I then remembered that the last race(s) that I did were pretty amazing. I had been injured and couldn't run so started going out on my mountain bike. Then I joined a women's beginners triathlon group just to motivate me out the door and get some coaching for swimming and biking really. I had zero intention of ever doing a triathlon. The local club do a summer series though and the novice distances looked manageable and so I decided to go for it. I was absolutely bloody terrified before the first one but I really enjoyed it and had such a buzz at the end. I think what made it special was that it was local so the marshals were familiar, the route was familiar and I had loads of friends and family there cheering me on - including my parents and my son. I did the second of the series and miraculously won a prize for fastest female in my category over the 2 races (there were 2 of us and I won by 1 sec). I still have that buff and it makes me feel proud whenever I wear it.
FlyingScotsman asks: Congratulations halfpint! My question is, If you were a professional athlete in any sport what song would you want to walk onto the pitch to?

halfpint says: This was a surprisingly difficult question. I love music and have quite eclectic taste. Yet when faced with this dilemma my mind went completely blank. One song that always gets me fired up is Mr Brightside by the Killers. The lyrics aren’t motivational but it’s got the right energy.
McGoohan asks: Who would play you in a film of your life? When do auditions start? Do we have a release date yet?

halfpint says: I outsourced the answering of this question to QP. He suggested Danny DeVito who is apparently the exact same height as me. I might have gone for someone petite but a little more feminine. Perhaps Kylie Minogue.
BigChiefRunningBore asks: Is your halfpint half full or half empty and either way what are you drinking?

halfpint says: I think my natural outlook is a bit half empty but I consciously try to be more half full. I started the Reasons to be Grateful thread for that very reason. Back in the day my glass would have been full of JD and coke (no half measures) but my drinking vessel is most likely to be filled with tea these days to be honest. Maybe the occasional cider or gin.
IT GRANNY 🇮🇸 asks: If you could go back in time and advise a younger version of yourself, what would you tell her?

halfpint says: Thanks ITG but holy cr*p what a question. This one was probably the most thought provoking but I will spare you all my very deep thoughts about this. In summary: You ARE good enough and please be kind to yourself.
.B. asks: Congrats Halfpint :) You do lots of different stuff: climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, running, walking - what’s your favourite memory from your outdoor adventures?

halfpint says: Thanks .B. Another difficult question. I bloomin' love being outdoors and doing all these different activities. The things that make these trips/outings memorable are often the amazing scenery, the things that went wrong and the people. Probably my favourite memory is of walking the West Highland Way with my son, QP. We did it in May 2019 when QP was 16. He'd had an absolutely horrendous few years. Secondary school had been a total disaster and he hadn't 'achieved' much in the academic sense. Outdoor activities are where he has a chance to shine. He loves all the activities you mentioned and he's bl**dy good at most of them. The WHW is a 96 mile walking route from just outside Glasgow to Fort William and covers some stunning, but challenging areas - the shores of Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, the Devil's staircase and Glencoe. We walked it over 6 days and he was amazing. I am so privileged to have had that time with him before he flew the nest and for him it was so much more than just a 96 mile walk - knowing his strengths, pushing through the tough times and having a sense of achievement that school never allowed him.
Columba asks: Many congratulations, HP.

How long have you been an EP for; and have you practised (as an EP) in any other part of the country than the part you're in now?

halfpint says: Thanks Columba. I finished my Masters in 2014 and was fully qualified in 2015. I still think of myself as a newbie but that's more than six years now. I came straight to Highland as a probationer and so I haven't practiced anywhere else other than my placements as a trainee. From what I know of the English system I don't much fancy it. I once had ideas of going to Australia or New Zealand but I can't imagine leaving this amazing part of the world now.
Night-owl asks: Congratulations is there anything out there on your running (or cycling) bucket list

halfpint says: Thanks Night-Owl. I'm not actually much of a runner so no running dreams. There are no specific races, events or routes I have in mind right now. I have been enjoying exploring my local area on the bike or on foot over the last wee while and there is so much more to see and do just in the Highlands. I'd like to see as much the area as I can self propelled (bike, foot, kayak). That'll do for me for now.
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